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South Africa Plans To Secretly Move Rhinos To Safety

South Africa Plans To Secretly Move Rhinos To Safety

As part of a plan that sounds almost like a movie plot, 500 white rhinos will be evacuated from South Africa's Kruger National Park and secretly taken to new homes to protect them from poachers.

Although international trade in rhino horns has been illegal since 1977, demand remains high in some Asian countries, the BBC reports, where it is used both in traditional medicine and as a symbol of wealth. The Ministry for the Environment made the decision in an effort to stop the illegal hunting.

At the current rate, the species — 80% of which live in South Africa — is threatened with extinction. The latest bulletin from SANParks says poaching has hit the Kruger rhino population hard. The 2013 census showed that the park — which is roughly the same size as Wales or Israel — has between 8,400 and 9,600 white rhinos and around 2,000 black rhinos left.

Early leaked reports from the Ministry say that 250 will be sold to conservation-minded private individuals, and the other half will be moved to nature reserves, probably in neighboring Mozambique, Zambia and Botswana.

The operation will no doubt be complex because of the size of the animals. On average, a rhino weighs 2.5 tons. It will involve tracking the animals in rugged and remote bush, darting them with tranquilizers from helicopters and then moving them to safety. Moving each animal could cost up to $2,000.

File photos of black rhinos being moved — Photos: Michael Raimondo/WWF/Green Renaissance/ZUMA

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Ideas

A Writer's Advice For How To Read The Words Of Politics

Colombia's reformist president has promised to tackle endemic violence, economic exclusion, pollution and corruption in the country. So what's new with a politician's promises?

Image of Colombian President Gustavo Petro speaking during a press conference in Buenos Aires on Jan 14, 2023

Colombian President Gustavo Petro, speaks during a press conference in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on January 24, 2023.

Manuel Cortina/ZUMA
Héctor Abad Faciolince

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BOGOTÁ — Don't concentrate on his words, I was once advised, but look at what he's doing. I heard the words so long ago I cannot recall who said them. The point is, what's the use of a husband who vows never to beat his wife in January and leaves her with a bruised face in February?

Words are a strange thing, and in literal terms, we must distrust their meaning. As I never hit anyone, I have never declared that I wouldn't. It never occurred to me to say it. Strangely, there is more power and truth in a simple declaration like "I love her" than in the more emphatic "I love her so much." A verbal addition here just shrinks the "sense" of love.

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